In a flashback from the classic “Much Apu About Nothing” episode of The Simpsons, adenoidal genius Professor John Frink describes the awesome, UNIVAC-style computer he has created: “Sure, the Frinkiac 7 looks impressive–Don’t touch it!–But I predict that within 100 years, computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive only the five richest kings in Europe will own them.” What the professor could not have predicted is that, in 2016, there would be a Frinkiac search engine capable of matching Simpsons quotes with the appropriate screencaps, drawing from the first 15 seasons of the long-running animated series. Just type in, let’s say, “oyster Lucy” or “cider town” and let the Frinkiac do its thing.
For anyone wondering how this miracle of technology came about, Brian Barrett has a nice write-up about the Frinkiac over at Wired, and one of the search engine’s three credited creators spills some of the technical specifications in a blog post. Essentially, the brilliant Frinkiac automatically slices each Simpsons scene into 100 parts, using changes in color to determine when to take a new screencap. The resulting images are then coordinated to transcriptions of the dialogue, via timecodes. Season 11, sadly, has some technical issues along these lines at the moment, but Seasons 1-10 and 12-15 should be good to go. Once the user selects an appropriate screenshot, they can then click on it, choose the “make meme” option from a button at the right, and see the chosen quote added, in Simpsons font, to the screen capture. As Jasper Beardly once eloquently put it, “What a time to be alive!”
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